Full Body Home Workout

A free full body workout from home or the park. 

The weather is warmer and you likely don't want to be trapped inside a gym. Take your workout to the backyard or playground with your kids with this full body workout.

You can do as many rounds as you'd like but I recommend three with breaks in between. Warm up with some jogging (actual or on the spot) and/or jumping jacks. If you are a postpartum mom and need less impact (read Why You Pee During Your Workout) take to some bodyweight squats. 

Cool down with some stretching and remember to rehydrate!

  • High knees - get your knees up toward your chest. 20 per leg
  • Glute bridge raises - lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Lift the butt off the ground and squeeze the glutes. 
  • Pushups - hands on the ground outside of the shoulders. Start from knees and work up to from feet. 
  • Squat jumps - squat down, keep the chest up (look forward) and jump up. Option to bodyweight squat instead or grab your toddler/baby on your back.
  • Walking lunges - hands can be on the hips for balance. 20 per leg
  • Tricep dips - hands on the ground or a bench with fingertips pointing toward your feet. Bend at the elbows, do not swing hips up and down. 

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Why You Pee During Your Workout

I am a mom. I understand. Sometimes (particularly while jumping) we pee a little during our workouts. And anyone reading this who isn't a mother.. well...... sorry to say it's true most of the time for women after having babies. This is not my areas of expertise BUT I thought it would be great to bring in the wonderful (and gorgeous) Kaye Burrows from Core Love Fitness who DOES specialize in this area to talk about WHY we pee! Read on below for Kaye's amazing advice!

Why are you peeing during your workout?  And how to stop!

I remember leaving my first Stroller Boot camp class after my daughter was born and thinking “Is my vagina just sweating a lot or did I totally pee my pants?”  Hint: no, vaginas don’t sweat a lot.  

There is a major misconception that if you are experiencing urinary incontinence (leaking pee) after having babies it is because your pelvic floor is stretched, loose and weak.  Another misconception is that doing 100’s of kegals a day will solve all of your pelvic floor problems.   

In my experience, many women experiencing leaking have a hypertonic (tight) pelvic floor and thus have a really hard time strengthening the muscles because they cannot first get them to relax.  Your pelvic floor is made up of muscles that, just like any other muscle, work best when they can both fully relax and fully contract!  If this is your pelvic floor, kegal-ing away all day is not going to solve the problem.  

corelove1.jpg

You can see from this diagram of the pelvic region that your pelvic floor is supporting some pretty important stuff!  I know that you may be desperate to get your ‘body back’ after having babies and so you turn to crunches/sit-ups, planks and running.  For the sake of your pelvic floor, I actually recommend you don’t do any of those, if you are experiencing incontinence.  Just for now, not for forever, I promise!

What to do:

1) First off,

I can’t recommend a pelvic health physiotherapist enough.  I would never have healed my own pelvic floor without one!  Here is a helpful link from Pelvienne Wellness that can help you find one.  If you want help locating one in Edmonton contact me here and I can share my recommendations.  

Next, you need to figure out if the way you breathe and stand is supporting your core and pelvic floor.  

2) Breathing

Start lying on your back, and place one hand on your ribs and one hand on your belly.  As you inhale, intentionally bring your breath into your ribs and into your belly instead of lifting your shoulders and breathing into your chest.  This encourages your diaphragm to move through its full range of motion and supports the deep core and pelvic floor muscles.  As you exhale, feel both your ribs and your belly sink towards your spine.  Try to breathe right into your pelvic floor.  Repeat 10 times (or more- relax and breathe Mamas!).

corelove2.jpg

3) Standing.  

The two cues I say most often are:

  • “Leave your behind (bum) behind you”

  • “Keep your headlights (breasts) shining forward”

In the above photo my hips have shifted forward and my ribs have lifted up and shifted back.   This is a really common posture for moms because it takes some of the load of carrying babies (all day long!) off of the arms and into our spine and pelvis.  

In this photo, I have brought my bum behind me and rotated my ribs down and forward so that my “headlights” are shining forward.  This is a much better alignment to support my core and pelvic floor.

4) Be smart about your workouts.

Find an expert that you trust to guide you.  Burpees, jumping jacks, crunches and other high intensity exercises that are creating a ton of intra-abdominal pressure are not for a body that is repairing the core and pelvic floor.  If your class instructor or trainer doesn’t have a lot of knowledge about diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic floor healing, incontinence and hormone levels in nursing moms, look elsewhere.  You don’t want to move backwards in terms of healing and strengthening.  If you are looking for a fantastic online program that you can follow along at home, go here.  And if you need more help, please reach out!  I am so passionate about helping women feel connected, strong and at home in their bodies.  I would love to help you get there!  You can find me at corelove.ca, on Facebook and Instagram.     

7 Days of Self Care Giveaways

February 1st-7th we are doing 7 days of Self Care giveaways. Ways to find some time for yourself. Each day we will be featuring a new self care on Facebook and Instagram and all you have to do is follow along and tag your friends that you think need some self care! 

Chopped Leaf Turn Over A New Leaf Contest

New year, new leaf to turn over. I don't care what anyone says about resolutions and "New Year, New Me". I love a fresh year, fresh start with the intention of changing something for the better. 

January 1st The Chopped Leaf, launched their Turn Over a New Leaf program. For the month of January, offering healthy tips on their Facebook Twitter and Instagram pages with a chance to enter daily to win $15 gift certificates as well as be entered to win the grand prize worth $2500 including  $1000 Chopped Leaf gift card and a year membership to Goodlife and a spa and wellness package! 

So head on over to follow them and get in on the daily draws and  enter to win for the grand prize HERE.

5 Foods To Eat After Injury

If you don't follow along on my Instagram, you would have missed the fact that I injured myself yesterday. Doing some fancy version of box squats, I missed and landed on the corner of the box with my shins. *Insert grimace*.

So here we are writing about some foods that will help the healing process. These are great not just for us adults, but for the kids on our lives that play sports or get injuries from riding their bikes, as they are non medical ways of helping heal. 

ginger.jpg

1.Ginger - Ginger is a well known anti inflammatory and helps reduce pain. But in addition to this, if you are taking medication for pain/healing that upsets the stomach, ginger is known to help fight nausea and upset stomachs.  

2.Tumeric - Also another well known powerful anti inflammatory, reducing joint pain if there are injuries to knees, elbows, shoulders etc.

3.Vitamin C Rich Foods - Vitamin C boosts immunity we know but it also important in strengthening of collagen (the stuff that holds our skin together), if we aren’t getting enough vitamin c Collagen gets weaker and wounds heal slower.Try sweet bell peppers, oranges, spinach, and brussel sprouts.

4.Protein - Think about bodybuilders and muscle heads and all the protein they seem to consume. While working out we are tearing the muscles and protein is needed to repair the tears. It’s not just neede for repairing muscles but also injuries such as cuts, burns, wounds etc. Increase your protein intake while healing. “Protein gets used for energy before healing” - Michele Gottschlick R.D Ph.D.  So we need to increase protein for energy AND to use for healing.

5.Zinc Rich Foods - Zinc is needed to synthesis protein and for cell growth, helping heal wounds faster. Spinach, Beef, Kidney Beans, Pumpkin Seeds, Oysters, Garlic (well isn’t that just convenient) Egg Yolk, Pork and Dark Chocolate (So I’ve given you a scientific reason to eat chocolate).

Adding some of these foods together would probably make a great salad or stew! Watch for a recipe on the blog soon!! Ha ha

 

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect

My verdict on astrology is still out, but as a Cancer (and a Pitta in the Ayurvedic world) I have a small problem with perfectionism. Sometimes I find myself not even starting a task because I know it will not work out perfectly or know that I don't have the time to do it perfectly.

This evening as I am hand washing some dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher, I started thinking about the mess that currently is my home and everything that needs to be done to clean it. To perfection no less.

Today, for several reason I do not have the energy for this task. I normally may have even left the dishes in the sink to "catch up" on them tomorrow, because I certainly don't have the time to clean the whole kitchen and then house. I did them though, to make at least a small impact on the mess.

I think this is many people's problem with fitness and/or nutrition. Inner dialogue may sound a little like this: 

"If I am not going to perform the most efficiently in the gym, why should I even go? How can I perform the most efficiently if I don't know what I am  doing? I need to research or read about how to do things perfectly so I can make the most of my time while there. Okay, research first, get a plan and then go."

Days, weeks or even months pass. Waiting for the perfect plan, perfect moment, perfect outfit, perfect timing or whatever. Then it becomes a kitchen full of dishes that never get done. Am I right?

What if we stopped trying to make everything perfect and we just try? What if I learn to accept the mess around me for what it is, but know I can make a small impact right here, right now. A small step in the direction I wish to travel. Soon these small steps turn into these big milestones. These milestones turn into big moments and these big moments turn into the way I live my life?

Maybe at lunch when I have some cheesecake instead of sticking to my salad and egg whites I accept the "mess" and continue on with my plan instead of "well today is shot, may as well go down hill from here."

It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to take a small step in the direction you wish to travel. The rest will follow eventually. 

Love, 

Jen

 

Fitness Goal Setting

Goal setting. Seems simple enough right? "I want to loose weight"," I want to build muscles" or "I want to run a half marathon." Seem simple that think about something we want and boom it's a goal. 

But is it? Not to pull out all the cheesey fitness quotes but as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said "A goal without a plan is just a wish." 

So how do we set fitness goals? How do we make it a goal and not a wish, a real live attainable thing? Let's take it back to elementary school with how to solve a problem. Figure out the 5 W's and the H.

  • What? What is your goal? Do you have an event you want to race in, a weight/size you are looking to achieve? This I think is the easy part of goal setting of course. What do you want?
  • When? When do you want to achieve this goal by? Thinking something reasonable, maybe planning to run a marathon in 3 weeks and you've never run a day in your life is a bit too much too fast. But set some timelines of the things you wish to obtain.
  • Who? Who do you need to support you in your goal? Tell these people your plans. They can hold you accountable and/or help you with your goals. You might be surprised to find the people rooting you on and/or you inspire to do the same! Do you need a personal trainer or coach? Do you need workout buddies?
  • Where? Seems like an odd question, but in reality, where do you need to be in order to obtain this goal? Do you need a gym membership since home workouts and self motivation you know are a hurdle for you? Do you need to be able to run outside, do you have a place to do this?
  • Why? Ah, this is the tricky one. Think good and hard about why you want to obtain this goal. If you heart isn't really there, the love and joy of obtaining your goal likely won't. I wrote a bit about loving your personal fitness journey and it helping in this post Love Your Fitness . Take some time to sit and actually think about why you want to do something, because if it comes from this place of self hate or self loathing, you'll likely hate every minute. Taking an honest look at your feelings will help you use them constructively, instead of burying them inside a workout. 
  • How? Sit down and write out how. I'm a pen and paper gal, where if I write something down its official. Maybe you like spreadsheets of how often you plan to workout or what your nutrition will look like. Write it out, type it, print and put it somewhere you see often. A reference to look back on to see if you are on track, or a place to write what did or didn't work. Remembering sometimes our journeys take us different routes then we thought.

Now go and take action!!!! You have planned and prepared, go crush those goals!

Love, 

Jen

Trinity Workout

Our 6am club has been doing the stairs and a full body style workout at the top halfway through. I made this "Trinity" workout and designed it to be legs, then arms, then some core/abs work. Trinity because well, all the 3's. I'm weird like that. 

We did 7 rounds of the stairs today so only went through this workout once, but I'd love to hear if you did it the full 3 times! Rest in between each of the sets for a minute or two and get on it!

Quick description of each move is below.

Squats - Bum low, chest up

Tricep Dips - palms down, fingers pointing to toes, bend at the elbows

Plank Toe Tap - 15 a side. High plank reaching opposite hand to toe

Lunge to high knee - 15 a side. Lunge back then draw back knee into the chest.

Push Ups - Can be done from the knees.

High/Low Planks - high plank to the forearms is one 1, then back up and down for 30.

Plie Squat - feet pointed out, legs wider, chest up.

Diamond Push up - hand in a diamond shape on the ground, bum high, feet wide. Draw the head to the floor.

Genie Abs - On the back, arms over the chest, draw the knees to the arms and lift the bum. 

Enjoy!

 

Love, 

Jen

Take It Outside Workout

This morning my 6am club friends and I took our workout outside. It's been record breaking warm and beautiful here in the city for mid April and we took advantage of it. 

We met up at the bottom of one of the 50 sets of stairs in our city and got to it. Up and down a few times and at the top as the sun rose we did a fun bodyweight workout I put together. 

We laughed, we moaned, we had a blast and I feel refreshed and energized for my day. Not just from the workout, but the fresh air and the quality time with people I adore. 

At the top of the Whitemud ravine stairs is this awesome crochet/pom pom tree project.

At the top of the Whitemud ravine stairs is this awesome crochet/pom pom tree project.

Grab some friend and try this workout! 

Where do you like taking your workouts outside?

Love, 

Jen

The Power Of A Workout Buddy

I've been mostly a loner in the gym. I like to workout by myself, go at my own pace, do the exercises I want to do and just jam out to my music.  When my husband was/is in town we usually spend some time in the gym together. He helps motivate me  and pushes me a little harder and I love that too. 

But the past little while I've been very busy with some new adventures and teaching that I've lost a lot of motivation to go to the gym or work very hard while I am there. 


Maybe a month or so ago I invited a couple friends to come do a 6 am hot yoga class with me atthe gym. I wasn't teaching, it was just to get some Zen in before starting our day. We felt so good getting a bit of work in, getting zenned out but I think just being there together too.  Of course in classic gym style if you don't take a selfie it didn't happen, so here we are. My friends are babes even after hot yoga. (While I look a bit like a drown rat. ha ha)

Then something compelled me to take my Insanity Live Instructor training, and I thought "crap, I should probably take a few classes so I'm conditioned to teach it!". So I asked my friends if they wanted to take a 6am Insanity class with me the next week. We all almost died and there was no selfie taken because I think we were all in too much of a haze to think to take one.

But we realized we all loved getting up before our kids and husbands and getting in our time and doing it together. We created our own little message group and ask each other to go to classes. Yoga, HIIT, Insanity whatever. We go to at least one class a week and we motivate each other. 

Another friend recently started coming and she's loving it. Even drives across the city almost to meet up with us. This morning she text me as I was getting into my car "sorry I slept through my alarm".  I woke up a bit tired and sore this morning so I thought to myself this was the perfect excuse to get back into my warm bed. I messaged the other two friends to see if they were going since they seemed on the fence the night before hoping they would say no. But no, they both said they were going to be there. Motivation back on. Game time. Let's go. 

The power of having those friends to hold me accountable is simply priceless. We even motivate each other while working out. Push each other harder and faster. And take pictures of you doing post workout yoga poses so you look cool....

 

Thanks my friends. You are amazing.

Find your tribe and love the shit out of them! 

Love,

Jen